CELTIC have not been as good as last season; everyone is clear on that.
There are two camps or trains of thought on the form and inconsistency we’ve seen this season.
Last season was so good, ‘we could never match it’ camp and the ‘Well, even if we can’t match it why has the decline been so steep?
As you can see from the stats, Celtic have scored 22 fewer goals, they have conceded two more and are down 18 points from this time last year. Of course, in both instances, Celtic are on their way to a treble so what am I banging on about? Who cares! You don’t know you’re born! Etc. etc.
Remember the season of 2015/16 when Ronny Deila was in charge?
That season was seen as a struggle, and of course because of more than just the league performance. But if we isolate the league table and out it up against Celtic’s current season. After 30 games Ronny Deila’s side were actually a point better off. This was a time when there was a lot of discourse about how the team were doing.
Again, yes this was contributed to by cup exits and the fact Ronny didn’t make the Champions League, but that’s not really what I’m getting at – I’m not trying to make a case for Deila nor am I trying to bring trouble at Brendan’s door.
I’m merely sitting here wondering why the drop off has been so significant, so much so that Ronny Deila’s much maligned side would actually be a point ahead of us in the title race.
- Injured and off form strikers for a prolonged period of the season.
- Major injuries to the likes of Armstrong, Rogic and an off form Sinclair who were so positive the season prior.
- Defensive issues (However, Celtic have only conceded two more from this time last term)
- Fixture congestion.
- Euro hangovers.
- The burden of expectation?
Take your pick!
I think the two aforementioned camps do have their place in the argument. The team are still on course to match what they did domestically, albeit in a less stylish and emphatic manner.
Decisions have to be made on who wants to be at Celtic in the summer and whose race has been run in the famous Hooped jersey.
Celtic have a lot of players coming into the last year of their contract, and it will be up to Brendan to figure out the finer details and who’s worth keeping.
Celtic were never going to be as good as last season, but nobody expected the level to which the performances have dipped so much. I believe that in the grand scheme of things, it will be seen as a season where the Champions did what they had to do to win.
A mere clearing of the throat by the club before they get ready to belt out their next hit.
This time next year when I do a write up after 30 games I think we’ll see a different Celtic.